Thursday, May 29, 2003

Boy news

He's still under the effects of the bug he picked up late last week - between the newest tooth, a cold, and the stomach bug (trust me, the cleanup the last two afternoons has not been pretty), he's been kinda hurting. He's still pleasant as heck, though, and generally happy most of the time.

Yesterday we took him to the doctor's for his 1-year checkup. Everything's proceeding on-track, and we have the relevant numbers from this session below. However, one thing to take as a cautionary matter - he was not very happy to be there and struggled on the table. So the height measurement is definitely off (by as much as an inch or so), and the weight is better, but still may be off plus/minus a few ounces.

Anyhow - here they are:
Height - 30 inches (he measured 1/4 inch taller last time - obviously he hasn't shrunk, it's the squirminess talking here)
Weight - 21 pounds, 14 ounces (up nearly 2 pounds)

He was due for the chickenpox shot this time, but didn't get it due to his being sick. He's going back next week for that. As for the illness, we're just feeding him water and bland food at his feedings, and smaller doses from the bottle. It worked last time he was sick - it'll work this time, too. He should be OK in a couple more days.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The breaking point

Sure enough, 7PM came and went yesterday with no DSL and no update. When I called Speakeasy, the tech I got actually had the audacity to suggest that Verizon's (an East Coast company) commitment of 7PM meant 7PM Pacific.

I told him in somewhat miffed tones that it didn't even matter what time zone we were referring to - they missed the commit time, period. I then went on to state, in a statement to him, a voicemail to his (new since Friday) boss, and an e-mail to the head of the company, the following:

"Verizon missed the deadline. Covad has given you no update. Speakeasy has reassigned the manager who was handling my case before the weekend. This appears hopeless.

The bottom line is this: I can't deal directly with Covad or Verizon. Only Speakeasy. Therefore, I consider this mess to be your fault. If it is not fixed by this time (7:00 PM EDT) tomorrow, May 28, then I will rid myself of your company by any means necessary. If you want the modem back, I'll gladly send it back - smashed and stuffed in an envelope. I have lost all measure of patience with Speakeasy.

You have one day to keep my business, assuming you still want it. If that's the case, I suggest you start calling folks from your vendors now. At home. In their beds. My office is next door to the local CO. I should see trucks lined up when I go to work tomorrow. Personally, I don't think you can do it. Surprise me."

In other words, this relationship is hopelessly broken. Tonight, I'll remove the modem, since there's no way they'll actually get this working. I will then put it in a bag, and place it under the tire of my van, where it will hopefully be crunched nicely.

If that fails, I have a sledgehammer. But that's more work. The remains will go into a very small box and be shipped to Speakeasy's Seattle headquarters. I'll wait until next Wednesday, take the cable modem, and live with the dynamic IP address. When we move, instead of transferring my Speakeasy service, I'll just find another ISP.

The shame and irony of this is that Speakeasy actually has a fairly good reputation among DSL ISP's. And I've had nothing but luck getting provisioned by other DSL providers in the past. The problem lies somewhere in the complicated relationship between Speakeasy, Verizon, and the go-between, Covad. But I have to pay the price for it. Since I'm the customer, that can't be tolerated.

However, I'm not going to just let it die after today's actions. I will be making sure people know just how bad this experience can be. I'll also make sure that the regulators in this state know just how bad this experience can be - if enough people with bad experiences let the appropriate state authorities know about it, perhaps they just might listen and stop the Baby Bells from trampling everyone in their path. But probably not.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

In case anyone was wondering

It is now 3:58PM EDT. Verizon has not corrected my CO problem. Ergo, no DSL. They have a "commit time" of 7PM to get this done. Anyone want to bet that I'll have working DSL by then?

I didn't think so. The bottom line is that all these useless jokers just plain suck. Verizon sucks, Covad sucks, and Speakeasy sucks. Unfortunately, it's my only hope of keeping a static IP at a reasonable price (but still more than cable). So I'm waiting them out, I guess. I ordered cable Internet service again Friday afternoon, and even though they can't install until the 4th, I bet that'll still be faster than all these other useless miserable buck-passing companies get their act together.

I'll post a Dude update tomorrow, after his one-year physical. Even if I have to borrow someone else's computer to do it. However, it's a safe bet that no photo updates will be up for a while, given that I need a freaking web presence to put it on.

Friday, May 23, 2003

It's not a resolution, but it's something

OK. What happened is that Verizon screwed up the cross-connect when they went to pull my wire over in the CO. So I'm crossed over to something else. An easy fix, once someone goes to look at it, and there's a repair order open.

Unfortunately, it's a holiday weekend, and by the time this was all puzzled out, Verizon has gone off for holiday. Only emergencies get handled on the holiday, of course. So my ticket will not be addressed until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, it looks like a long weekend with no e-mail, and only occasional dial-up. Thankfully, we have a lot of work to do prepping our house to be shown - otherwise I'd head for the CO and sneak in to do it myself.

Latest update

New service, wcom to covad migration, never been up. Loop install was 5/22, wcom service dropped on 5/21. Has cpe pluged and powered, no chages to phone service since wcom service dropped. using a Dataquest 200ES. router: ADSL-blinking, LAN-solid, power,solid, activity-flashing. ATM seg ping is good. DSLAm shows port down and no activity ever. Rebooted CPE and reseated cables. lights the same on no activity on DSLAM. Customer is avaliable M - F 8am -5pm for dispatch if needed.
DSLAM Trunk Status: OK
Technology: DMT4F
Card Status: OK
Port Status: Down
Actual Port Rates: 0 kbps Downstream / 0 kbps Upstream
Margin: 0.0 dB Downstream / 0.0 dB Upstream
Upstream Cells Received from CPE: 0 ( 0 )
Downstream Cells Transmitted to CPE: 0 ( 0 )
ATM HEC Errors: 0 ( 0 )
Upstream Line Errors: 0 ( 0 )
Downstream Line Errors: 0 ( 0 )
Training Starts: 0 ( 0 )
Josh @ (my phone number)
opened covad tt

The preceding was the current status of trouble ticket #249440, which is now tied to Covad's TT# 748224. According to the update immediately before lunch, the line was completed at 09:14:31 West Coast time. However, it don't work yet. I will probably escalate this an a most personal manner shortly.

On a more positive note...

David was very whiny all day yesterday. When I came home (I'd gone out with a few friends from the office), I took him from Jane to give her a break. About then, we confirmed the suspicion we both had - there's a brand-new tooth sticking out of him! This one is his right upper front. So we gave him a little Tylenol before bed and he's feeling a lot better today, though sleepier than usual.

When I went home for lunch today, he puked a little yogurt on my shirt. So I changed shirts before coming back to work just now. That was fun, too!

DSL update

Screw 'em. I ordered cable again just now. The only opportunity for them to get out of this mess is for it to be fixed before the weekend - if they pull it off (which I doubt), then I'll consider cancelling the cable Internet order. That's only because they can't come out for a week.

Personally, I'm fed up at this point with Speakeasy, Covad, Verizon, and the whole DSL mess. I may give the cable company my local phone service after we move just out of spite.

I think I'll have to find an alternative e-mail provider to work with besides hosting my own so that I can at least get e-mail again.

As expected...

As I so boldly predicted yesterday, my DSL cutover was not completed. What a shocker. If they do not have it done by the end of business today they're going to be dumped for cable - at least until we move. Maybe I'll take a fresh look at it then.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

My iTrip's here!

The folks at the Apple store here in Peabody called to let me know my iTrip arrived yesterday. I'm going to pick it up after work. Yippee!

On a slightly more serious note, I'll post a small review of it after I've played with it for a few days. Also, I've gotten no e-mail at home since yesterday morning because of a DSL changeover (Speakeasy is migrating me back to Covad). Verizon pulled the plug on Worldcom a day early, and theoretically I should be back online by the end of today. Needless to say, I have my doubts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Over the weekend

Even though the Dude's birthday isn't until Saturday, we had the party this past weekend. Almost everyone we invited made it, including several of our friends who drove up all the way from Connecticut. Mad props to them!

The party itself was almost an anticlimax. It was a lot of fun, but the little guy's really too young to appreciate the effort. Mainly he just wanted to sleep - as we'd interrupted his nap to bring him over on time. I took a lot of pictures, as did our friends. I'll be posting it all later this week.

Developmentally, he's doing pretty much the same as in the last update. Pulling up is getting easier and quicker than it was, and he stays up longer and does more once he gets up. He also takes side-to-side steps. Usually when we come in for him in the morning he's standing in his crib waiting for us. He also crawls at breakneck speed now.

Feeding is still going pretty well. He self-feeds pretty much anything that we put in front of him that he can pick up. We shred food for him because he still can't differentiate on size. He's mastered the sippy cup now, and we're giving him whole milk sometimes instead of water. He still drinks 3-4 bottles of formula per day as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Maslow revisited

I've updated Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for the modern era. As I see it, it now goes something like this:

- Physiological needs
- Broadband needs
- Security and Safety needs
- Social needs
- Email needs
- Ego/l337 needs
- Self-actualizing needs

I'm open to suggestions on other things that belong here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Brush with glory

Right after I wrote the previous entry, I went and swapped out a comm module on our Cisco 4500 - we had a BRI module in it and I replaced it with a 10BT. It went really smoothly, and our company mainframe connection was back up in a couple of minutes.

For one brief, shining moment, I knew what it felt like to be Wendell. It felt good.

Then I went home and cleaned cat puke off our bed.

Feeding Frenzy

Earlier today, we gave out 44 of our old PC's (Dell 233 MHz boxes) to people here who'd entered a raffle for them. The PC's were available for pickup starting at 10:30 AM - there was a feeding frenzy like you wouldn't believe. Virtually everyone was waiting outside the rrom when I got there.

It was all we could do to shovel them out and collect the $20 checks fast enough. All the payments are going to go to charities here in town - no, not my new house. Though that would be nice...

Monday, May 12, 2003

Closing in

We completed the P&S on Friday, after reaching an acceptable allowance for the roof work that we'll need to do. So the move is on - unless something weird happens, we'll be passing papers August 28th and moving in a couple of weeks later. Now we just have to sell our house...

This Saturday, we took David to Simard's for his first haircut. I'll be the first to say it's not the neatest cut possible (he got a bit of an inadverdent Prince Valiant), but when you consider the circumstances it all came out quite well. The pictures are online, and they show a nice, cooperative boy. But I saw the video (I should have - I shot it...), and he was one heck of a squirmer. Getting him to hold still enough to be scalped at all was a feat. He enjoyed it, though - he was just high-spirited.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003


Just a side note - it's been a little tough sleeping the last few days, because the boy's had a couple of 3AM wakeup screaming incidents. The most recent one was last night. Jane normally goes and deals with any of these, but I wake up too, and usually don't fall asleep again until he does - regardless of how long it takes.

So as a result, we're both tired.

The post-inspection evaluation went better than I feared, but not as well as I hoped. There's some stuff, mostly minor, that we need to fix - the prices of which aren't too bad. But the roof is farther gone than we hoped, so that bill will be coming shortly. We're seeing if we can make an allowance for us to do the replacement now.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003


Things are a little grumpy at Casa Turiel this week. David appears to be possibly getting another tooth - he had a little blood in his slobber yesterday and he's getting whiny again. Of course, it may just have been from a undetected fall, but I suspect a tooth-related nick on his gum. In general, though, he's been fairly high-strung for the last few days. When we went to a baby shower this past Saturday he was real good, though.

And then there's the move. We bought a new house last week, and are planning to do the whole deal right around Labor Day (interested in ours? It's listed on - e-mail me for info). The inspection was Sunday, and it turned up a few minor, but annoying things that we're going to go have some tradesmen further evaluate today. Hopefully it'll all be minor enough that we don't have to either revisit or cancel the deal. We'll see. Yes, the new house can and will have DSL just like the current house does. It's 6700 feet from the CO.

So all in all, moving will probably be a Good Thing (I'll really miss our current house, though - it's a great turn-of-the-century home), but all the stuff associated with it simply ratchets up the stress levels. It also basically kills the vacation I was planning to take in September - we were going to go down to the Vineyard, but now we'll be moving around the same time.

Besides that, David is getting tougher to feed as he makes a shift to self-feeding. He can't quite handle a lot of foods yet, and he has definite favorites, but spoon feeding is now only something we can do if he's too tired to feed himself but he's still hungry. Right now he eats anything we can crumble for him. He also had cornbread the other day at the baby shower, and loved it. We're going to start cooking and dicing bits of veggies for him this week, too. He does not have the spoon thing down yet, though, and I expect that to take some time. The increased food fussiness is also a thing that causes grumpiness - but he's so cute it doesn't last long.

On a more cheerful note concerning the boy, he now pulls up pretty routinely, and can stand with a little assistance (mainly steadying him from the back). He has a new fun activity - he claps when you tell him to (say "clap clap clap" to him and watch him go), and he likes to pattycake. He also tries to chew on us whenever we allow it. And he's has a bit of a breakthrough with Gracie - now instead of just clutching her he actually tries to pat her, though he's still a little rough. But she loves it anyways.

The one TV show he watches routinely is Teletubbies. That works out because it comes on at our lunchtime, so Jane and/or I can eat lunch while he watches it, and he really likes it. Other than the Baby Einstein videos, there's not a lot of TV he watches otherwise, unless we're watching TiVo with him in the room with us. Mostly he plays with his toys, plays with his parents and cat (who also fall into the "toy" category), and chews on books. We read to him or try to teach him words pretty much every day. And he loves music. Most mornings now Jane knows when he's up, not because he starts screaming but because he gets up in his crib and starts his music box playing.